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Where have I heard that before?
During my 15 years as a musician this question continually haunts me time and time again. It is not that I don't know the answer, I do... but then the problem starts when you consider just 'how much' practice makes perfection and to 'what degree' of perfection you are striving for! And if it is really true that 'practice makes perfect' then why is it that so many give up somewhere along the way? Personally I think it is because we often succumb to some basic human errors that sabotage our efforts of practicing.
So what are these booby traps?
Not practicing regularly enough
Not setting goals
Overly-ambitious goals
Not taking stock
Giving up



Aubrey with Face First. The band hardly rehearses together but you bet everyone still practices individually, if only to keep up with the others!

You see, these traps are so obvious, yet so many of my students (and fellow musicians!) never realized what they were doing wrong. In fact it took a rude awakening while I was in Berklee to make me realize that I was wasting a lot of precious time and effort too. I too often felt that although I put in the necessary hours, I was never pleased with the ‘results’. Let me explain.
Not practicing regularly enough

How many times have you heard of someone who, in preparing for next week’s lesson shrugs off any notion of practicing for the first 6 days and then crams a 9-hour session the day before the dreaded class? WHAT??! You did that too?! Let me let you in on a secret. Try it if you have to. I DARE YA!

I have learnt (ya, the hard way too) that with 15 minutes a day , you would have done more than your ‘9-hour-in-one-day’ session. Okay, okay, so the math don’t add up but hey, I was never really good at math anyway! However, it seems that music, to some extent, involves a lot of motor skills, and these get developed with constant input, not like the petrol tank in your car. Sort of like a picking up a habit! You don't know that you're picking anything up until one day you just realize you simply must have your legs up while you're reading. Now imagine having the ‘motor skills’ of Hancock, Jarrett & Corea as a habit! Awesome huh?!


More to come next week!




Malacca Sun